Delaware Code Title 16. Health and Safety § 2502A. Statement of purpose

(a) An adult individual who has decision-making capacity has the right to refuse medical or surgical treatment in order to allow natural death if such refusal is not contrary to existing public health laws.

(b) An adult individual with decision-making capacity has the right to plan ahead for health-care decisions through an advance health-care directive pursuant to Chapter 25 of this title, or through a DMOST form pursuant to this chapter or both, and to have the wishes expressed in those documents respected, subject to certain limitations, in order to ensure that the right to control decisions about one’s own health care is not lost if a patient loses decision-making capacity and is not able to participate actively in making his or her own decisions, either temporarily or permanently.

(c) An advance health-care directive is recommended for every adult whether or not the individual anticipates a period of incapacity.

(d) The DMOST form is separate from and is not an advance health-care directive.  It expresses an individual’s wishes regarding scope of treatment through medical orders.  The DMOST form does not require an advance health-care directive.

(e) Data reveal that many individuals may reside or be situated in multiple locations such as home, acute care, and post-acute care settings near the end of life.  Changes in such settings require that an easily understood, standardized, portable document be available to communicate the individual’s care preferences.  A DMOST form provides such a document.


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